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The Mystery of the 50 Angolan Sustainability Reports

Elaine Cohen
Elaine Cohen | Wednesday December 25th, 2013 | 0 Comments

angola

KPMG published its 2013 Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting recently. For a reporting geek like me, that’s like getting five helpings of ice-cream all at once. A positive feast of information all about reports. I love it.

I am still working through the entire thing (gotta do a little work once in a while) but there is something that struck me as rather mentionworthy.

Angola.

How many sustainability reports get published in Angola?  In the GRI reports database, there is not a single report from Angola since the start of the database. I looked in the CorporateRegister.com database, and there are 10 reports from 3 companies in Angola published between 2007 and 2011. Nothing in 2012 or 2013. Even the UN Global Compact has no participants from Angola.
So how is it that, in the KPMG survey, 50 percent of the top 100 companies in Angola are noted as reporting on CSR?

That’s a higher rate than 6 other countries: South Korea, New Zealand, Greece, UAE, Kazakhstan and Israel.

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click to enlarge

Not only that, in the KPMG survey, Angola is way up there with the GRI-based reporting leader companies, with over 80 percent of these mystery Angolan reports being GRI-based.

In the CorporateRegister.com database, I can find 16 reports from Kazakhstan, and as many as 585 reports from South Korea, with the other countries in between. So, how come Angola has achieved a 50 percent reporting rate? There is no stock exchange in Angola, as this is scheduled for 2016.
The KPMG methodology looks at the top 100 national companies in each country. A 50 percent reporting rate means that 50 of the top 100 companies in Angola have publicly disclosed their corporate responsibility performance in some form of corporate responsibility or sustainability report.
So where are all these reports? This is a mystery. I love mysteries. Just call me Agatha.
Angola has a population of just over 18 million people living in an area of 1.2 million sq. km. Portuguese is the official language and Luanda is the capital. Angola’s main claim to fame is its oil, with an OPEC quota of 1.65 million barrels per day. GDP per capita is $6,500 which ranks 144 in the world league table. There are only 9.4 million mobile telephones in use, so that’s an opportunity for the telco sector, and only 0.6 million internet users, an even bigger opportunity. Human trafficking, drugs and forced labor in agriculture are mentioned as some of the transnational issues that Angola must address. The country has some spectacular sights and Kalandula Falls seems like it should be on everybody’s visit-here-some-day list.
Doing business in Angola, according to the World Bank Group, is not a piece of cake, and Angola ranks low on the easy-peasy scale. In fact, Forbes recently gave Angola the big thumbs down as one of the worst 5 countries in the world to do business in. This is a great opportunity, therefore, for CSR and sustainability.
However, when checking out the ice-cream scene in Angola, all I came up with was a list of ice-cream parlors in Angola, IN, which last time I checked, was in the U.S.  Maybe that’s the Angola that’s in the KPMG survey?
But I am still wondering, where are those 50 reports? Now, now, Agatha, don’t give up just yet.
I tried to find a reliable list of the largest 100 companies in Angola. Wikipedia lists a few notable companies in Angola. 36 companies to be exact. Are these the companies in the KPMG N100 list? Where are the remaining 64?
I shot off an email to the folks at KPMG to see if they could shed any light on the Angola mystery. Here’s what they had to say: “Angolese companies included in the research in many cases are subsidiaries of large global companies that issue CR reporting in other countries (for example, Total, who publishes a group report in France). As all subsidiaries are included in such group reports, they count at the local (Angola) level as well, including the reference to the GRI.”
Mystery solved. Sort of. Apparently Angola’s reporting rate of 50 percent is entirely made up of global companies operating a subsidiary in that country. Ditto for other countries. No wonder the N100 global reporting rate is 71 percent. I wonder what it would be if KPMG took out the reports that were not written by companies headquartered in the countries surveyed. Any guesses?
A version of this piece was originally published on the CSR Reporting Blog.
Elaine Cohen is a CSR Consultant and Sustainability Reporter, founder/manager of Beyond Business Ltd and author of the CSR Reporting Blog

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